State/Defense Cable 937 to Maxwell Taylor in Saigon on Legitimizing the Proposed Expansion of Operations in Southeast Asia, 29 October 1964


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 586-587


29 October 1964

ACTION: AMEMBASSY SAIGON PRIORITY 937

EXDIS

SAIGON FOR AMBASSADOR AND PASS TO COMUSMACV

JOINT STATE/DEFENSE MESSAGE

SUBJECT: Legitimation of OP34A

Refs: Saigon (a) 1221, Deptels (b) 678, (c) 680, Saigon 804 (d) COMUSMACV 210147E Oct 64

Suggest your further exploration with Khanh the question of surfacing 34A MAROPS. His thinking is not clear here as to whose interests (US and/or GVN) he believes would be adversely affected, and how. It would be helpful too to have his rationale for acknowledging all 34A SABOTAGE OPS rather than MAROPS only.

FYI In view current situation SVN and possible need additional operations against NVN, public exposure of, and subsequent US support for, MAROPS could provide politically useful basis for expanded activities. END FYI

Desire you continue press for legitimizing 34A MAROPS, leave to your discretion however, whether you should press Khanh for public exposure of 34A MAROPS at next session or limit discussion to obtain his complete thinking on the subject.

END

BALL


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